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BME.09 A Non-invasive Oral Biopsy Brush for Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer using Natural

Team Members Heading link

  • Motaz Alzaghari
  • Ahmed Hassan
  • Mitul Kothapalli
  • Neel Soni

Project Description Heading link

Oral cancer is a condition that frequently goes undiagnosed due to the lack of early screening and preventative care. The development of a new point-of-care instrument by Dr. Brian Cunningham from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign enables oral cancer to be detected through a miRNA assay from an oral biopsy sample (targeting the non-keratinized buccal mucosa). However, current oral brushes on the market are either too expensive or lack the functionality for adequate sample collection. To enable mass screening outcomes, our team aimed to design an affordable oral biopsy brush that can collect mucosa samples effectively and organize a manufacturing process that is efficient and scalable. The brush employs a detachable mechanism that enables the head of the brush to be placed into a cytocentrifuge tube for testing. Once a sample is collected, it is stored in an RNA preservative and sent for analysis. A two-step manufacturing process was followed to produce the brush in which the main body which holds the natural fibers is created and then proceeds to a post-process of attaching natural fibers to the head; the techniques utilized were aimed to maximize efficiency. A common manufacturing process that is utilized for mass production is injection molding. For the project, the concept of injection molding was modeled using silicone molding and urethane casting. As for the attachment of fibers to the head of the brush, Miswak fibers were used as their purpose is to be non-toxic to the patient. Also, these bristles must be flexible and cover more surface area for collection. The preparation of Miswak bundles consists of peeling Miswak sticks, hydrating them, and then cutting them for our desired length to be attached. After their creation, the final products were put through a verification process & tested for tolerance, accurate dimensions based on the control group, and their lot size. Within the scope of our testing, we concluded that a statistically significant difference does exist between each of the produced molds. Ultimately, the oral brush aims to accelerate early diagnosis and screening outcomes for oral cancer through our functional design and manufacturing process.

Project Video Heading link